Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-07-08-Speech-4-076"
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"Mr President, I think many were taken by surprise at the recent decision by the Commission to reopen the negotiations with Mercosur on a free trade agreement. As we enter into a period where we will see reform of the CAP, and we have just been debating that, everyone knows that agriculture will be a major part of that agreement. While I accept that the Commission services are within their rights to reopen discussions, they would have been much better advised to inform Parliament of their intentions. This issue has the possibility to open Pandora’s box in many sectors of Europe’s agriculture industry, and I therefore seriously question the wisdom of embarking upon any future deal. There are serious ongoing problems in Brazil and Argentina with regard to animal traceability and other health and safety issues. The most recent report by the FAO mission in the state of Santa Catarina concluded that there were very few controls on cattle passing from Argentina to Brazil, or indeed between the different states in Brazil. By the same token, ear-tagging rules were not enforced. These are only some examples of the many I could list from the FAO report last October. I must tell the Commissioner very straightforwardly that if he persists down this route he will be opposed every step of the way. I can to some extent understand why this may seem like an attractive option, as WTO discussions do not progress with any speed, but I really do believe that this has the potential to destroy the WTO. If Mercosur succeeds in achieving a deal with the EU, why should these countries continue to participate in WTO negotiations? You must understand that there will be no reduction in the level of standards of animal health welfare or traceability. Consumers and producers in the European Union must be protected, and I do not think that a trade deal with Mercosur will achieve this. Indeed, it will have entirely the opposite effect."@en1
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